Japan Lower House to Pass Foreign Workers Bill Tues.


Tokyo, Nov. 27 (Jiji Press)--The House of Representatives is set to pass on Tuesday evening a bill enabling the country to accept more foreign workers to ease serious labor shortages after the proposal cleared a relevant Lower House committee earlier in the day.

The bill to revise the immigration control law is likely to be approved at a Lower House plenary meeting by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its Komeito ally, and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party).

After the Lower House passage, debates on the bill at the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, are expected to start on Wednesday. The LDP-Komeito coalition aims to have the bill enacted during the ongoing extraordinary Diet session, which is currently scheduled to end on Dec. 10.

The amendment, which features the introduction of two new types of resident status for foreigners with specific professional skills, represents a historic change in Japan's labor policy, opening the door for unskilled workers from abroad, while some argue that it is a de facto green light for the country to accept immigrants.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sees the amendment as the most important bill in the current Diet session and aims to introduce the new resident status in April next year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press